Do NOT let Trenton pass this gun law
In the wake of Parkland much of the national conversation has revolved around guns and the second amendment. While I've supported the students protesting and can support certain reasonable gun laws, I don't support certain others.
This is one of them.
On Monday the full Assembly is taking up a gun proposal cleared by committee and it must not become law. A1217, in plain language, will mean a family or household member or law enforcement officer can petition the court to say you should not be trusted with a gun. They get a hearing, and if a judge is convinced your guns will be taken away. All of them. It's called a temporary extreme risk protective order. What will a judge need to see to grant such an order? Things like a history of threatening physical violence, a violent petty disorderly persons offense on your record, any alcohol abuse, any cruelty to animals, etc.. But part of the language in this bill states "the court also may consider any factors related to whether the respondent presents an increased risk of violence, including, but not limited to" these various factors already mentioned.
In other words it leaves it too open ended in my opinion. It leaves it to one persons word against another. Also, a strict reading of this legislation seems to indicate a hearing can be conducted before a judge with the petitioner present but not the gun owner. If you're going to have a hearing where a legal gun owner may have to surrender his weapons shouldn't it be spelled out that he has the right to be present at the hearing?
I feel this will make for a troubling law which could be abused. How many spouses in the middle of a divorce will make up stories just to burn the other? How many law enforcement officers with an axe to grind may misuse this law? I understand the intent. The missed signs of the Parkland shooter scream for something to be done. I get it. But I feel this proposal is overly broad and unfair.
Don't let them pass this. Contact your legislators. If you don't know how, click here. Select your town and it will tell you your district. Next select that district and it will tell you exactly who to contact and how. Simple.
Also call Gov. Murphy's office and leave word that you don't support A1217. That number is 609-292-6000.
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